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For The Perfect Smoked Meat, Pay Attention To
The Type
Of Smoke
By Rachael Grow
When smoking meat, it’s crucial to keep an eye on how the smoke looks before you start the cooking process — regardless of whether you're using a charcoal, pellet, or gas smoker. Avoiding "dirty smoke" can help you saturate the meat with a hint of smoky flavor rather than a mouthful of bitter ash.
Smoked meat can get a nasty, overpowering aftertaste if you use dirty smoke caused by a fire that lacks enough oxygen to burn properly. To avoid scorched meat, start your fire and wait for the white plumes billowing from the embers to turn thin, blue, and "almost invisible" (via Smoked BBQ Source) before you start the smoking process.
Several factors could make your smoke dirty, but you can fix your incomplete combustion by adjusting your vents, fuel level, and wood type. Careful fire management and a "less is more" attitude about the intensity of the smoke result in a tender morsel that’s expertly seasoned by a clean smoke flavor.